Bio-Pen Pictures

            Charles C. Cook came across the plains with his wife and one child, a daughter, to California in 1852.  Leaving their home in Farmington, Van Buren County, Iowa, April 12, they crossed the Missouri River where Omaha now stands about May 10.  No town was there then.  They arrived at Soda Springs, on Bear River, in Idaho, July 4.  On reaching Humboldt River they were advised to come by way of the Honey Lake Valley, which they did, and traveled 300 miles through an unbroken wilderness with no guide save a dim trail made by the passage of a few pack animals.  The company of which Mr. Cook and family formed a part was the first to bring wagons into the Honey Creek Valley.  The Sacramento Valley was reached at Fort Redding, August 20.  Mr. Cook sold his team at Shasta, took the stage for Grass Valley, and there settled and engaged in mining, in company with seven others, opening the Eureka Slide Mine, which they worked two years.  It yielded an ounce of gold per day to the man.  In 1854 he removed to Dutch Flat, and after spending a few months prospecting, living in a two-roomed tent, he and his family, consisting of wife and two children, rode on horseback—he carrying one child and his wife the other—through North Fork Cañon, near Cape Horn, on the American River, to Iowa Hill, where they remained four years, a part of which time Mr. Cook, being a carpenter, worked at his trade.  His wife’s health failing, they came to San Jose in 1858, where, ten years later, Mrs. Cook died.  During this time Mr. Cook was engaged in the contracting and building business.  Among the structures he erected are several churches, and the first building at the present site of the University of the Pacific, for which he drew a part of the plans.  Much of the material used in many of these early buildings was transported from San Francisco on schooners and wagons.  Mr. Cook’s old love for mining has not forsaken him, and he occasionally spends a few months in the mines, as superintendent, or in other capacity.

            Mr. Cook was born in Bartholomew County, Indiana, in 1825; went to Iowa in 1844, and married there a Miss Burnham.  He has three sons and two daughters by his first wife, all of adult age, and living on the Pacific Coast.  He married his present wife in Kearney, Nebraska.  She is a native of Maine, but resided most of her life in La Salle County, Illinois, moving from there in 1871, to Nebraska, and to California in 1877.  She has a son and two daughters by her former husband, Mr. Drew, all settled in life and prospering.  Her maiden name was Greenleaf.  Mr. Cooks’ beautiful homestead, on North Fourteenth Street, comprises two acres, mostly devoted to choice varieties of fruit, in bearing.  Mr. Cook has been an official member of the Methodist Episcopal Church many years, and for fourteen years leader of the church choir.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Pg. 396-397
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight